LIGHTNING (14-6-0) at KINGS (14-6-1)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
DO YOU THINK KFC IS STILL OPEN?:
The Kings are streaking, and they’re back in town tonight after venturing to New York and New Jersey on what was a successful four-game road trip. The Kings went 3-0-1 on the swing, pocketing seven of the eight points available for the taking. They have points in six straight games, going 5-0-1 in that span. Can they continue the streaking tonight at STAPLES Center?
The Kings were trounced by Tampa Bay on November 19th in a 5-1 drubbing by the Lightning, who are pummeling the Western Conference as a whole – they’re smoking hot with a 7-1-0 record against the West this season. Tampa’s no joke – even without franchise face Steven Stamkos. The Kings haven’t been outskated and outskilled this season as badly as they were at the Tampa Bay Times Forum last month. The recent additions of Toffoli, Vey, and Pearson could bring the quickness and adrenaline the Kings were missing against Tampa last time around. Who knows, maybe that new guy in the crease will have all of the answers once again.
EYES ON 54:
Ben Scrivens is getting National attention just three games into taking over the Kings’ crease duties. He was named the NHL’s #1 star of the week, and it had to have been a clear-cut decision. Scrivens is 3-0-0 with a 0.67 GAA, a .977 SV%, and two shutouts. He’s allowed only two goals in 180 minutes of play, stopping 86 of 88 pucks directed his way. He’s riding a 155:02 minute shutout streak, and could break Jonathan Quick’s franchise record of 202:11 minutes tonight.
The Kings are amidst one of the best starts to a season in franchise history. Take a look at the numbers: 14-6-1 (29 points) after 21 games is tied for the fourth best record in club history. 7-3-0 (14 points) after 10 home games is tied for the 10th best home start in club history. 7-3-1 (15 points) after 11 road games is tied for third best start on the road in franchise history.
TYLER THE CREATOR:
There’s magic coming off the stick of recently called-up 21 year-old Tyler Toffoli. Anze Kopitar praised Toffoli after he buried the game-winner Sunday night in New York City: “That's why we got him here. If he keeps doing that, he's going to stay here for a while. He's not going to leave this locker room." Toffoli, in seven games with the Kings since being called up from the Manchester Monarchs, has eight points (4G,4A) and has recorded at least one point in six games. Can he help the Kings strike revenge on Tampa Bay tonight at STAPLES Center?
BEAR DOWN ON TEDDY:
Former King Teddy Purcell buried the game-winning goal for the Lightning against the Kings in Tampa Bay last month. It stings when it comes from a former player. The last (and only) time Purcell has played at STAPLES Center since being in a Kings uniform, which is also the last time the Lightning have made a trip to Los Angeles, Justin Williams decided the contest with arguably the greatest move he’ll ever pull off in his NHL career.
Tampa Bay, at 14-6-0 (28 points), is in first place in the Eastern Conference. The Kings, 14-6-1 (29 points), sit at seventh place in the West.
Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 7:00PM, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call at 7:30PM from STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
Defenseman Slava Voynov notched the lone goal for the Kings against Tampa Bay in their previous meeting this season, beating goaltender Ben Bishop to the top right corner with such beauty, you’d think cameras were on the scene.